Eric and the Limo

Sitting in the silent painting studio, all the others having left, Eric, nowhere more at home than in the studio, not ready to leave, not caring if he will be late for his next class, he just sits there, drinking in the fact his dream, the idea he came up with, the idea he pressed me to act on, has been realized. The fancy Manhattan penthouse gallery opening reception that will feature his work is now only a couple days away.
The two of us sit in the sunny studio without speaking. In the silence, we savor the years of resistance we went up against. The patronizing waving us away. The disregard. And in this silence, our sitting together, we remember the hours and hours and hours in the studio when no one got in our way and art was the only thing.
And now, from today, only a couple days until the opening high above the famous avenues of the big city.
So quiet it is in the studio, Eric, and me, just sitting there, drinking in the fact the dream is going to be realize. It took a long time but we did it. Years it took, and we nailed it. From this quiet Eric says, “Tim?”
“My parents are going to get a limo to the show.”
Eric’s parents, divorced, were, I was pretty sure, both living on modest incomes.
“That’s pretty fancy Eric, you know, doing a limo.”
“I want to go in the limo.”
“You know what that would mean, right? You would have to use a manual wheelchair. The kind that folds up. You wouldn’t have your power-chair.” [Eric’s power wheelchair was key to his sense of self.  It was strong, and with the use of a cleverly designed technology Eric was able to move when he wanted to move. He could not motivate a manual wheelchair so when he was in one of these he was left completely passive.]“Power chair at the show and no limo, or limo and no power chair.” I said. “That’s the choice.”
“I know.” Eric said .He weighed his options with his famous earnestness, his famous seriousness, his brow as they say, deeply furled. “Don’t worry about it Eric.” I said. “ When you get rich you can buy your own limo.”
Eric smiled at me.
“You know what Tim?”
“If you really think about it, I’m already rich.”.